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MGS Architecture - - Greening India - Ar­chi­tects Parul Zaveri & Nimish Pa­tel’s

res­i­dence in Ahmed­abad is a coming to­gether of tra­di­tional knowl­edge and wis­dom, that re­lies on na­ture, tra­di­tional ma­te­ri­als and crafts to cre­ate an ap­pro­pri­ate bal­ance in the daily and sea­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences in liv­ing spa­ces.

The in­tent was to de­sign the res­i­dence, re­spect­ing en­vi­ron­ment and na­ture and fol­low­ing the prin­ci­ples of Vastu Shas­tra. There is max­i­mum use of tra­di­tional ma­te­ri­als, tech­nolo­gies, pro­cesses and crafts per­sons in the de­sign and ex­e­cu­tion. The ar­chi­tects aim was to achieve the re­quired hu­man com­fort in all liv­able spa­ces while min­i­miz­ing use of elec­tri­cal and me­chan­i­cal en­er­gies. Sim­plic­ity in the de­sign so­lu­tions was para­mount for them.

Hy­drated lime, with ad­di­tives like jag­gery, fenu­greek and nat­u­ral gum, was used for mor­tar and plas­ter. In­verted earthen pots were used on the roof to pro­vide ad­e­quate in­su­la­tion. The ex­ter­nal paint was lime wash. Non-re­in­forced lime jalis (screens) were cre­atively used in the com­pound walls.

Com­fort con­di­tions has been achieved us­ing pas­sive cool­ing sys­tems with glass walled ex­haust air shafts on the build­ing pe­riph­ery capped with Hur­ri­cane Ven­ti­la­tors. Sup­ply of cool air is through two con­ven­tional evap­o­ra­tive cool­ers lo­cated on the ter­race. The sys­tem gen­er­ates a con­tin­u­ous move­ment of 100% fresh air through­out the res­i­dence. As an ad­di­tional mea­sure to re­duce heat ingress in the sum­mer sea­son, all sides are cov­ered with green net, which is lifted up dur­ing the night on the east & west façades for cool breeze. Th­ese mea­sures min­i­mize use of air con­di­tion­ing to not more than two weeks in sum­mer and three weeks in the mon­soons.

Un­painted lime plas­ter on all in­ter­nal sur­faces, nat­u­ral wood, nat­u­ral stone, ad­e­quate day light, plenty of air move­ment. For the floor fin­ish in public ar­eas and base­ment, pat­terned China mo­saic was pre­ferred for its re­flec­tive and non-slip char­ac­ter­is­tics. In other ar­eas, a va­ri­ety of nat­u­ral stones have been used, and also in the doors and win­dow frames, chha­j­jas and loft slabs with the stair­case in nat­u­ral wood.

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